Category Archives: NFL

2023 NFL MOCK DRAFT – Round 1

By Sam Morris

Sam Morris is from Madison Heights, Michigan, and is an undergraduate student at BGSU majoring in Sport Management. He has a passion for sports writing and journalism. In his free time, he volunteers in the strategic communications department at BGSU at various sporting events and he also performs, writes, and produces his own raps for the music industry club at BGSU.

April 27, 2023

This year’s NFL draft will take place outside of the Union Station Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri, home of the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. The draft is set to be one full of excitement with many rumors of draft day trade scenarios regarding QB’s and key contention pieces. As usual, teams toward the top of the draft tend to have glaring needs that must be addressed quickly if they hope to be in playoff contention in the coming year. With this Round 1 Mock Draft, I will be showing who I think each team should draft at their respective slots and why they should do so. Below are all 31 of my mock picks in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft.

Teams Without a Pick:

  • Dolphins (Lose first round pick for Tua Tagovailoa malpractice concussion protocol violation)
  • Browns (DeShaun Watson trade)
  • Broncos (Russell Wilson trade)
  • 49’ers (Trey Lance trade)
  • Rams (Matthew Stafford trade)

1st Round Mock

(I won’t include any draft trade predictions)

  1. Carolina Panthers (from Chicago)
  • QB Bryce Young (University of Alabama)

After letting Baker Mayfield go to the Rams and Darnold to the 49’ers, the Panthers are no doubt going with a QB with their newly acquired first overall pick. This pick was acquired via a trade with the Bears where Carolina gave Chicago their top WR DJ Moore, their 9th OVL pick, their 61st OVL pick, a 2024 1st round pick, and a 2025 2nd round pick.  It’s safe to say that giving up this much draft capital is surely for a new franchise QB. This pick is ultimately between Bryce Young and C.J Stroud. I ultimately went with Young because despite his shorter stature, he has more running ability and a more accurate arm. The Panthers are slowly building something in Carolina with this pick and newly acquired RB Miles Sanders, especially since they play in the worst division in the NFL, the NFC South.

2. Houston Texans

  • QB C.J. Stroud (Ohio State)

At the #2 pick I have the Texans picking who I think is a slightly less talented QB than Young in Ohio State’s C.J Stroud. Although the Texans recently drafted Davis Mills out of Stanford, he is clearly not the answer as he has posted just a 33.1 QBR in his 2 years in the league which ranks 29th among NFL QB’s and a 32:26 TD/INT ratio which ranks just 25th. Although Mills may be a solid backup his .178 win percentage will not get it done as a starter. Stroud will be an instant upgrade in his arm strength and running ability. Although his accuracy and turnover ratio isn’t as strong as Young’s, Stroud posted insane passing yard and touchdown numbers at Ohio State that should transfer nicely into the NFL.

3. Arizona Cardinals

  • DE Will Anderson Jr. (ALA)

The Cardinals need some major help on both sides of the line of scrimmage but with D.J Humphries resigning at LT and the fact that they play the 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams offenses twice a year, they may lean toward this year’s consensus top defensive talent, Will Anderson Jr. Anderson will more than make up for the retirement of J.J Watt as he is an agile and versatile defensive end who can play linebacker as well. Anderson will provide the Arizona defensive line with an instant improvement on the tackling and playmaking front.

4. Indianapolis Colts

  • QB Anthony Richardson (University of Florida)

The Colts also need a franchise QB as they have essentially been in a QB carousel ever since former #1 overall pick Andrew Luck retired. Indianapolis was one of the more disappointing teams last year as Johnathon Taylor had an egregiously bad year compared to 2022 and the once top-notch defense struggled. They again got swept by Jacksonville, who actually came away with the division title and a playoff win, something the Colts haven’t done since Peyton Manning played for them. Anthony Richardson should fix at least one of these issues as he has risen up scouts’ ranks with an impressive pro and scout day and has had two great last seasons playing for Florida. He is one of the biggest QB’s in terms of size in this draft at 6’4, 230 and has arguably the best arm accuracy of anyone on the board. The Colts would love to get him at #4.

5. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)

  • NT Jalen Carter (University of Georgia)

Surprisingly, it looks like the Seahawks have won the Russell Wilson trade so far. Not only has Wilson been better at coming up with catchphrases than playing football for Denver, but the Seahawks have re-ignited Geno Smith, gained an offensive weapon in TE Noah Fant and now have a top 5 pick in this year’s draft. This pick in my opinion is the easiest for me to predict in the draft as the Seahawks will likely go for a defensive lineman. Tyree Wilson and Jalen Carter are who I believe Seattle have their eyes on with this pick and while their EDGE rush has been brutal in recent years, with the departure of nose tackle Al Woods to free agency, Seattle has only one defensive tackle on their entire roster, Bryan Mone. For this reason, I think they will pick the highly talented Nose Tackle out of Georgia, Jalen Carter. Carter is a quick swim-move type D lineman who should be able to come in and start immediately for the struggling Seattle defensive front. Despite his insane strength and talent, Seattle needs to keep an eye out for his character issues as he has been suspended multiple times in his college career.

6. Detroit Lions (from L.A. Rams)

  • DE Tyree Wilson (Texas Tech)

The Detroit Lions were one of the biggest surprises from the 2022 NFL season, turning their “Hard Knocks” offseason buzz and ridicule by the media toward their unfiltered coach Dan Campbell into a successful season. The Lions barely missed the playoffs after a 1-6 start, finishing 2nd in the NFC North, and a half game back from the 7 seed, behind the aforementioned Seahawks. While Goff and the offense scored at ease, the defense (aside from Hutchinson, Rodriguez, and Walker) severely struggled. Detroit solved the Safety issue by bringing pro bowler CJ Gardner-Johnson in from Philly but still have glaring holes at Corner as well as on the edge and interior of the D-Line. Although Carter would be a better fit than Wilson in Detroit as his body-slamming antics against LSU definitely fit the “bite their knee cap” mentality of Dan Campbell, his suspension issues would be a major problem as Detroit already has 4 players suspended this season for gambling violations. With Seattle likely taking Carter a pick earlier, the Lions will settle for Wilson who will give them a ferocious defensive end duo with last year’s 2nd overall pick, Aidan Hutchinson. Wilson is 6’6, 275, giving the Lions much needed length on their EDGE rush. Wilson also created 50 QB pressures this season which is exceptional college production that should translate quickly into the next level. With many quality NT prospects this season the Lions should have no trouble finding one to add depth in the later rounds while stealing one of the top edge rushers in the draft here at #6.

7. Las Vegas Raiders

  • CB Devon Witherspoon (University of Illinois)

While some are predicting Vegas pick Levis or Richardson with the 7th selection to fulfil a long term QB need, I think the more obvious and more immediate glaring need is anywhere on defense, especially at CB. Bringing in veteran Jimmy Garoppolo from SF will do more than suffice at QB as Jimmy G has proven he’s a winner. Despite having phenomenal weapons at San Francisco, he hasn’t had anything like the combo of Josh Jacobs and DaVante Adams, which makes me think the Raiders will be just fine on offense. Because they have to play Mahomes, Herbert and Wilson 6 times in a season, CB should be where they focus. Getting Witherspoon or Gonzales makes sense here at 7. Ultimately I went with Witherspoon out of Illinois because I feel like he is more proven with the Big 10 competition going up against guys like Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr, and Ronnie Bell, but honestly, it could be a toss up between those two CB’s. As a side note, the Raiders have an early second round pick at 38th that they could potentially use to get Hendon Hooker for a long-term QB solution.

8. Atlanta Falcons

  • DE Lukas Van Ness (University of Iowa)

Atlanta is unlikely to take a QB here with Ridder only playing for one season. This was one of the toughest picks for me to make because they have needs in a lot of other areas including interior O-Lineman and D-Lineman, their WR depth is low after last year’s 8th OVL pick Drake London, and their RB room lacks depth. However, I ultimately went with Lukas Van Ness, a Defensive End because their pass rush was one of the worst in the league last season. Van Ness should be an impact player with his pass and rush defensive abilities, especially in one of the weakest QB leagues that includes Derek Carr, Baker Mayfield, and likely the #1 OVL pick as the other three starters. Although I don’t think this is the right pick here, I could also see Atlanta selecting RB Bijan Robinson here at 8 just because he is such a highly talented prospect.

9. Chicago Bears (from Carolina)

  • LT Peter Skoronski (Northwestern)

As previously stated, the Bears got a ton of picks as well as D.J Moore from the Panthers for the #1 pick which they surely were not using on a QB with Justin Fields as an emerging star. Because of this, the Bears have landed the 9th pick in the first round which they will most likely use to help protect Justin Fields. The best LT in the draft is close for me between Skoronski, Wright, and Johnson Jr., but I ultimately went with Skoronski out of Northwestern. Like his former teammate, Chargers LT Rashawn Slater, Skoronski is a big but agile tackle who should become a quality starter. The NFC North is one of the worst pass rushing divisions, so adding a good blocker like Skoronski should increase Fields’ ability to get out of the pocket even more in the future.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)

  • DE Myles Murphy (Clemson)

As the reigning NFC Champs, the Eagles have very few weaknesses. After signing Rashaad Penny and having Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott as quality backup RB’s, I don’t think the Eagles will pick Bijan Robinson this early in the draft, despite being one of only two teams to offer him an official visit. Their D-Line depth is the more pressing issue in my opinion. In terms of their D Line, Fletcher Cox is the only NT who has started in the NFL consistently on Philly’s roster with the highly talented Javon Hargrave gone to San Francisco. They do have an emerging prospect in last year’s first overall, NT Jordan Davis, but they still lack a proven starter on the edge opposite Brandon Graham. Myles Murphy will meet this need as he, along with fellow draft prospect Bryan Breese, anchored one of the best D Lines in the country in terms of rush defense last season at Clemson. At 6’5, Murphy will give the Eagles additional size on their D line that should pair well with the aging pro bowlers Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. Murphy will be able to play as an edge rusher and rotate in at NT to give Fletcher Cox some rest. This addition could be huge to help improve what was already one of the best D Line units in the country last season.

11. Tennessee Titans

  • LT Paris Johnson Jr. (Ohio State)

The Titans are one of the teams many predict could trade up in the draft to possibly get a QB like Anthony Richardson. If I was to do pre-draft trade predictions, I could see Tennessee trading with Arizona to get their preferred QB. However, although QB Malik Willis didn’t play all that well last season for Tennessee he is only going into his second year. If the Titans don’t trade up to take Richardson, I think they will wait for next year’s stacked draft class and instead draft a LT to help bolster what was arguably the NFL’s worst O Line unit last season. Paris Johnson Jr. would fit perfectly in Vrabel’s run heavy offense as he is a swing tackle who can play either guard position as well in order to maximize Derrick Henry’s talent.

12. Houston Texans (from Cleveland)

  • WR Quentin Johnson (Texas Christian University)

Houston’s weak WR room will almost certainly be addressed with their 12th selection via the DeShaun Watson trade. The question will be which WR will they choose as the first to come off the draft board. For me, it depends on who they take 2nd OVL, assuming they take a QB. If they end up taking Young, I could see them getting Stroud’s teammate, Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba is the fastest WR in this class and would fit well with Young’s rollout/PA bootleg style of football that he plays. This is because Smith Njigba is gifted at improvising routes after a scramble breakdown, something I think Young does considerably better than Stroud. If they pick Stroud, as I predict, I think Quentin Johnson from TCU is the way to go. Like former Texan, DeAndre Hopkins, Johnson has the ability to catch any ball thrown at the high point in his catch radius. Johnson’s height and sure hands make him a perfect fit for Stroud who currently lacks elite NFL accuracy. Although Smith-Njigba is Stroud’s former teammate and probably a more talented receiver than Johnson, I think Johnson is overall a better fit for the Texans’ situation should they get Stroud at #2.

13. Green Bay Packers (from NYJ)

  • TE Dalton Kincaid (University of Utah)

The blockbuster Aaron Rodgers trade finally allows the Packers to start the Jordan Love era. Unfortunately for Love, the Lions and Vikings are surging and the Packers offensive skill weapons are not what they once were. Adams and Tonyan are gone and after the pick swap with New York, Green Bay should either take an O-Lineman developmental prospect or take a skill player for Love here at 13. Although a Watson, Dobbs, Toure trio isn’t the best WR core out there at the moment, I think TE is where Green Bay goes here as their current starter is Josiah Deguarra, a 4th year player who has just 2 career touchdowns. Dalton Kincaid is in my opinion by far the best receiving Tight End in this draft class as he was Utah’s top receiver last season. Kincaid is both an excellent route runner and blocker who can help Green Bay’s offense from day one.

14. New England Patriots

  • CB Christian Gonzalez (University of Oregon)

The Patriots had one of the best overall defenses, surprisingly, in 2022 with their linebacking duo of Matthew Judon and Josh Uche sending QBs out of the pocket on a regular basis. However, since Stephon Gilmore’s departure to Indianapolis their CB position has been very weak. Jabrill Peppers fills in at RCB when he doesn’t play FS for New England, but even then he is more of a pass rusher, which doesn’t really help New England with one-on-one coverage. Christian Gonzales of Oregon is arguably the #1 CB of the draft so it is a no-brainer to me that New England pick either Witherspoon or Gonzalez with this #14 pick.

15. New York Jets (from Green Bay)

  • LT Darnell Wright (University of Tennessee)

After landing Rodgers from Green Bay and remarkably still attaining a first round pick in this year’s draft, the Jets would happily take an O Lineman here to protect their new face of the franchise. Darnell Wright is a perfect fit here in New York as he is the biggest O lineman projected to go into the first round at 6’5 335, and will have to go up against top notch D Lineman every time he plays an AFC East defense, including the aforementioned Patriots’ linebacking duo, the Bills’ Gregory Rousseau, and Miami’s Bradley Chubb. Wright is in the top tier of O lineman in this year’s draft and just because he is third on that list doesn’t make him any less valuable to New York.

16. Washington Commanders

  • S Brian Branch (University of Alabama)

Washington has, in my opinion, the most interesting pick in this year’s draft because if Vegas and Atlanta pass on QBs then the 4th QB will still be available at Washington’s pick. Will Levis would be a very intriguing prospect with elite arm strength for Washington but I think Washington will pass as they have stated that they have faith in their second year starter out of UNC, Sam Howell. Head coach Ron Rivera told his new Offensive Coordinator, Eric Bienemy, after he was hired that Washington would be “set to roll with second-year QB Sam Howell under center in 2023.” Additionally, because of Washington’s talented offensive skill players and dominant front 7 on their defense, there is speculation that the front office in Washington feels like they are a playoff contender and could eventually try to get a veteran QB via trade. With QB off the table, I believe Washington should turn to their secondary, specifically safety, which struggled mightily as a position group last season. Brian Branch is the consensus best safety of the draft as he is versatile enough to play cornerback, has great route reading ability, and intercepts/pass deflects at a high rate.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • RT Broderick Jones (University of Georgia)

Although I could totally see the Steelers going the defensive back route with this pick due to the underwhelming production Akhello Witherspoon has had over the past few seasons, the addition of veteran Patrick Peterson from Minnesota and Minkah Fitzpatrick’s consistent success creates an overall average to above-average secondary. The Steelers have struggled the most in recent years is protecting the QB with their O-Line, especially from the tackle positions. Ever since Alejandro Villanueva retired, the Steelers have failed to find a left tackle capable of reaching a pro bowl caliber level. With both LT Dan Moore Jr and RT Chukwuma Okorafor now in their 4th and 5th seasons and still underperforming, I think Pittsburgh will take whomever is the best O Line prospect remaining on the board, in this case Broderick Jones. Jones is the second of three Georgia players I have going in the first round and he was a huge reason behind their enormous success these past two seasons. Despite being a sophomore, Jones’ draft stock rose enormously after having a great second season, not only a single sack against the pass rush all season. He may fall this late in the first round of the draft because he is still just 20 years old, but Jones’ talent, ability to play both tackle positions, and raw strength is undeniable and would be too much for Pittsburgh’s struggling O Line to pass up on.

18. Detroit Lions

  • CB Joey Porter Jr. (Penn State)

After addressing their biggest need at NT with Jalen Carter, the Lions will most likely either go with a big-bodied WR to go along with the smaller Amon Ra St Brown and Jameson Williams or go with a CB after trading former 3rd overall pick Jeff Okudah to Atlanta in the offseason. If Houston were to pick Smith-Njigba at 12 instead of Johnson, I would have Detroit picking Johnson as he fits what they need for their #3 WR. However, with Houston taking the TCU star, I have Detroit taking Joey Porter Jr out of Penn State. Although there is a clear drop-off in production and speed from the top 2 CBs (Witherspoon and Gonzales) and the rest of the CBs taken in this first round mock, like Witherspoon, Porter Jr. has proven his value against some of the best teams in the country out of the BIG 10 whereas SEC CB Cam Smith and BIG 10 CB Deonte Banks didn’t fare as well against top ranked opponents like Alabama and Michigan. Porter Jr. has elite speed and allowed just 143 reception yards in his 10 games in 2022.  He should be an immediate starter ahead of current starting CB Chase Lucas and will make the Lions secondary pretty scary on the right side with the addition of  C.J Gardner-Johnson from Philly.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • QB Will Levis (University of Kentucky)

With Tennessee passing on a QB earlier in this mock, this leaves the door open for Tampa Bay to take the 4th QB off the board in Kentucky’s Will Levis. Although Tampa just signed Baker Mayfield and lacks O-Line depth, 4 of the top O-Lineman are already off the board and the QB position currently only consists of Mayfield and Kyle Trask. While Trask hasn’t had an opportunity to play, he doesn’t have the raw talent or prospective upside that Levis brings to the table. Why this pick also makes sense is that Levis is a developmental type of QB, like Malik Willis and Trey Lance, who likely will need a year or two under his belt to work on his accuracy. This means Tampa can keep Mayfield under contract while developing Levis’ skills to become their new franchise QB of the future in a division that is near the bottom of the NFL. Levis overall has incredible arm strength and for that reason, the Texans have offered him an official visit for their #2 spot so if he falls to 19, it would be a great situation for the Bucs. What this pick will likely depend on is if the Tennessee Titans are willing to wait until next year’s draft class to pick a QB and stick with second year QB Malik Willis much like Washington will be doing with Sam Howell. If the Titans pick Levis 11th I would expect Tampa to go after either a CB or an interior offensive lineman.

20. Seattle Seahawks

  • LG O’Cyrus Torrence (University of Florida)

With Tampa selecting a QB and not an IOL, Torrence becomes the first interior O-Lineman drafted and he will become a Seahawk. The 6’5 350 pound guard is a perfect fit to help what might be the NFL’s worst Offensive Line outside of Tennessee. The Seahawks started two rookie offensive tackles last season in Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas. Although they both performed reasonably well, the offensive line as a whole still gave up the 10th most sacks in the league at 46 and the most sacks in the red zone in the entire NFL. These numbers had less to do with the inexperience of their two rookie tackles however, and more to do with their two guards, Damien Lewis and Phil Haynes, who consistently let Geno Smith get under pressure going up against pro bowl interior defensive lineman in their division like Aaron Donald and Arik Armstead. Because Seattle picked up Evan Brown from Detroit, Torrence would fit in nicely on the LG position, giving Seattle a young but much more quality Offensive Line heading into next season.

21. Los Angeles Chargers

  • NT Bryan Breese (Clemson)

Miles Murphy’s partner in crime at Clemson, Bryan Breese was an absolute star in his own right. Although Breese is over 300 pounds, he is extremely agile and his bench and deadlift numbers at the combine and pro days have drawn comparisons to the likes of the projections that Aaron Donald and Bradley Chubb had going into their respective drafts. While the Chargers are an extremely talented team they have weaknesses in running back depth and on their entirety of the defensive line besides Joey Bosa. Although Austin Ekeler has stated he wants a trade I don’t expect Los Angeles to take Bijan Robinson here as their D-Line has been decimated both by injuries that have exposed their depth and by the release of NT Breiden Fehoko to the Steelers. While Fehoko isn’t necessarily a household name he brought a mental toughness and a sense of physicality to the Chargers that they severely lack with his absence. While Breese may not become a pro bowler anytime soon he will round out this D-Line and help the Chargers attack the star QBs of their loaded AFC West division.

22. Baltimore Ravens

  • WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba (Ohio State)

This pick will likely go one of two ways: the Ravens will either pick a CB to replace Marcus Peters or get the WR 1 of the future for Lamar Jackson. Considering they have Marlon Humphrey as one of their CBs and two above average safeties I think the Ravens go with the latter of the two options. Baltimore signed OBJ in the offseason and is currently in contract negotiations with veteran WR DeAndre Hopkins, but even with both of these options they still need someone that Lamar Jackson can turn to as a true number one option for the long term, especially if they want to keep Lamar in Baltimore. Jaxon Smith-Njigba would be just the guy the Ravens would want to acquire as this “true number one” as he is both the fastest deep threat WR in the draft class and has some of the best hands of any WR in the draft class. This would be a dream come true for Baltimore if J.S.N doesn’t get picked by Houston because he has been the most highly graded WR by scouts in this draft class and one of the highest graded WR prospects in the last 5 years, drawing comparisons to Jaylen Waddle, JaMarr Chase, and Justin Jefferson. He would be just the type of WR Baltimore would need to push their offense to the next level in a close race in the AFC North.

23. Minnesota Vikings

  • WR Jordan Addison (University of Southern California)

Minnesota has essentially the same situation as Baltimore (above) in terms of which positions they should be targeting in this year’s draft with CB and WR. Despite having needs on every level of the defense, the CB position is by far the weakest in Minnesota as Mike Hughes (who is now with Atlanta) got traded to Detroit last season. Although I think Minnesota should address this need and there are CBs still available like Deonte Banks or Cam Smith, because of their recent draft history of passing on defensive players until later rounds I think they will address their need at WR (like Baltimore). With long time Viking WR Adam Thielen no longer on the team, their depth at WR is extremely thin behind pro bowler Justin Jefferson. Their number 2 WR is 5’11 deep threat receiver K.J Osborn and their number 3 is Jalen Reagor, one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory after he went to Philly a few picks before Jefferson went to Minnesota. With many top-tier talented WRs still on the board Minnesota is able to get USC prospect Jordan Addison here in the late first round. Jordan Addison was the 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner (FBS’s best WR) and caught 25 TDs combined in 2021 and 2022 with Pitt and USC. Addison will surely provide much needed red zone production from a WR not named Justin Jefferson, something they currently lack.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • CB Deonte Banks (University of Maryland)

The 5th DB off the board is also the 3rd from the BIG 10 as Deonte Banks from Maryland goes here to Jacksonville. Jacksonville was by far the most pleasantly surprising team last season as they not only made the playoffs after having the worst record in back-to-back seasons, but they actually won a playoff game and came pretty close to beating the eventual Super Bowl Champions in the divisional round. Although they have more strengths on their team than they’ve had in quite some time, ever since the Jalen Ramsey trade, there has been a gaping hole at CB that remains to be filled. As previously stated in Detroit’s Porter Jr. pick, Banks struggled heavily against highly ranked opponents, including J.S.N and Ohio State as well as against Ronnie Bell and Michigan. However, many scouts attribute these struggles to the defensive scheme Maryland runs where the safeties play more man-to-man and less zone, allowing their CBs to get burnt one-on-one more often than other teams. With this being said, Banks still has enormous upside in the NFL as he has elite speed, running a 4.35 40-yard time in the combine. Banks also has great versatility similar to Brian Branch out of Alabama in the sense that he is a solid pass rusher and can get QB pressures like a nickelback or linebacker.

25. New York Giants

  • WR Zay Flowers (Boston College)

The 4th and final WR I have going in my first round mock draft is Zay Flowers out of BC. Out of all the teams in the NFL I think the New York Giants need a first round WR the most. After the Giants have essentially let both Kadarius Toney and Richie James walk to the Chiefs their WR depth is completely depleted. While the second rookie out of Kentucky, Wan’dale Robinson, was a bright spot last year, posting 23 rec and 1 TD in 6 games, he was injured two separate times and will likely start the year on the IR. Although they have some depth with veterans Jamison Crowder and Darius Slayton, a top 2 duo of Parris Campbell and Isaiah Hodgins is well below average talent wise. Despite Flowers being just 5’9, his deep threat speed game will be an improved version of what Richie James gave them last year. Flowers can also be a quality return man and is undoubtedly the best vertical route runner in this draft class.

26. Dallas Cowboys

  • RB Bijan Robinson (University of Texas)

Here we go… this has been the pick that I have been alluding to this entire mock draft, RB Bijan Robinson. Robinson is a 6’0 220 pound RB from Texas who is built like a FB but can run like a WR. He has by far the most hype and upside of any prospect in this draft but drafting a RB in the first round is always a scary thing to do given their short career spans and short primes. We have seen RBs like David Johnson and Todd Gurley get picked high in the draft and be elite in the league for a few years but then never pan out. However, we have also seen Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey have longer careers and still play in their prime after being drafted high. The Cowboys will be hoping the latter happens as this opportunity would be too good for them to pass up if he fell this far. With Zeke Elliott being released and breakout RB star Tony Pollard being both injured and on the last year of his contract, Robinson would help fill the biggest positional need that Dallas has on offense. Robinson’s combination of speed, strength, catching ability, and power running ability between the tackles make him an all-around threat similar to Derrick Henry. He would be a scary addition to an already potent Dallas offense. In my opinion, the teams Dallas needs to be most worried about snagging Bijan earlier in the draft are Atlanta, Philly, Detroit at #18, and Tampa. I could see Bijan going to either of these four previous destinations because they all lack RB depth and because if they don’t take him they know Dallas as an NFC rival will. Dallas should especially be weary of Philly as they don’t have any real glaring needs on their roster, have an arch rivalry with Dallas, and Robinson himself said on NFL Live that out of all the QB’s in the NFL he would most like to play with Jalen Hurts. Overall, Robinson is my most intriguing prospect of the draft and it will be exciting to see who drafts him.

27. Buffalo Bills

  • LB Drew Sanders (University of Arkansas)

The Bills main goal in this draft should be to bolster their offensive line which lacks quality backups to help protect Josh Allen in the future. But their round one pick will most likely be a LB as they are down a starter with Tremaine Edmunds going to Chicago. Either Drew Sanders or Jack Campbell would be good fits here for Buffalo but I ultimately went with Sanders because he is by far the more versatile of the two options. Sanders was an edge rusher for Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide before coming to Arkansas via the portal and so he has full seasons of experience both blitzing the QB and playing in coverage. Sanders was toward the top of the country in sacks with 11 last season because of this versatility. This should transfer into the NFL where positionless nickelbacks are becoming a must in today’s game.

28. Cincinnati Bengals

  • TE Michael Mayer (Notre Dame)

Although Mixon will likely be out of Cincinnati after this season or possibly by the trade deadline, with Robinson gone I’d find it highly unlikely they’d reach for a RB like Jahmyr Gibbs in the first round. Instead their more immediate need is at TE as Hayden Hurst is now in Carolina. Irv Smith Jr. is a solid TE who has spent his entire 3 year career in Minnesota up to this point but he lacks red zone production, posting just 9 TDs in 3 years and accumulating fewer than 100 receptions combined in his career. Mayer is probably the most experienced player in the draft as he started for 4 years at Notre Dame. Mayer will be able to come in and deliver in the red zone for Cincinnati and be a part of the young homegrown offensive core that the Bengals have built with Chase, Higgins, and Burrow.

29. New Orleans Saints (from San Francisco through Miami and Denver)

  • DE Nolan Smith (University of Georgia)

Because of a massive pick swap between the Saints and Eagles last season, the Saints #10 pick belongs to Philly. Despite this, New Orleans will still get one of the top D Lineman in this draft very late in the first round in edge rusher Nolan Smith. Smith worked opposite of top 10 projected pick Jalen Carter last season and he put up numbers that rivaled his teammate. In Smith’s 4 years as a Bulldog he had 113 tackles, 12 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and one INT, all while never playing a full season due to injuries. It is these injury setbacks that put some pause into GMs when selecting Smith, but his talent, statistical numbers, and agility as a 6’3 240 pound D-Lineman who can play for three downs will make the pick too good to pass up for New Orleans. This is especially the case in New Orleans because DE Carl Granderson has had a rough couple of past years opposite Cam Jordan. Smith would likely start off as a rotational guy but could eventually become a staple piece of the Saints 3-4 style front 7.

30. Philadelphia Eagles

  • CB Cam Smith (University of South Carolina)

After addressing their loss of Javon Hargrave with their #10 pick and with Dallas already picking Bijan Robinson, I have the Eagles taking the second Smith in a row with CB Cam Smith out of South Carolina. With Bradberry and Slay as their current primary corners, the Eagles would use Smith immediately as a rotational third CB. With Gardner Johnson gone in Detroit, Smith would also be helpful at safety as he has been known to be an exceptional zone coverage cornerback which historically translates very well into NFL safeties. This is what happened with Minnesota’s Harrison Smith and the aforementioned Gardner-Johnson who both played CB in college in a zone coverage and have turned into pro bowl safeties in the NFL. Smith is used to high expectations in South Carolina which has become an NFL DB machine lately with Jaycee Horn in Carolina, Stephon Gilmore in Dallas, and Keisean Nixon in Green Bay, so he will be more than up for the high expectations of the Philadelphia Super Bowl caliber defense.

31. Kansas City Chiefs

  • RT Anton Harrison (University of Oklahoma)

With Miami’s pick being forfeited, Kansas City’s 31st overall pick here will be the final pick of the first draft. With the clear top 4 WR’s being selected already, Kansas City’s first selection will go to the 6th O-Lineman taken in this first round, Anton Harrison. Despite Kansas City having one of the most productive offensive lines in the league last year they had to let go of Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie and only added Jawaan Taylor, leaving a wide open spot at right tackle. The clear best right tackle in this draft was Broderick Jones who already went to Pittsburgh in this mock so the Chiefs will get Harrison who is slightly smaller than Jones, although still big, at 6’5 315, Harrison hasn’t gotten much media attention with Oklahoma having an extremely underwhelming year in the BIG 12 but scouts love his ability to block both D-Lineman and Linebackers coming through the guard-tackle gaps. Harrison’s blocking ability on the edge is so good that his QB pressure percentage was the best in the country at a slim 2.01%. This statistic in particular should get the Chiefs excited as they want to do all they can to keep their generational talented QB Patrick Mahomes healthy and on the field.

Super Bowl LVII Predictions

By Sam Morris

Sam Morris is from Madison Heights, Michigan, and is an undergraduate student at BGSU majoring in Sports Management. He has a passion for sports writing and journalism. In his free time, he volunteers in the strategic communications department at BGSU at various sporting events and he also performs, writes, and produces his own raps for the music industry club at BGSU.

February 11, 2023

Super Bowl Overview

After my undefeated first round and a 3-1 second round, the conference championship games did not go as I expected as the Niners and Bengals both lost. The Eagles absolutely crushed San Francisco 31-7. The Niners’ offense slowed to a halt, losing both Brock Purdy and 4th string QB Josh Johnson to injury, and leaving them with no healthy QB’s available to play. However, this doesn’t take away from the amazing job that Philly’s offense did against the number one defense in the league. Although the Chiefs also pulled off the win, it was not without controversy as there were a few flags against Cincinnati late in the game that Bengals fans thought had cost them their chance to win. However, the Bengals had plenty of opportunities to put the game away beforehand and couldn’t get the job done. With all the upsets and crazy storylines in these 2022-2023 playoffs, the Super Bowl features the two overall one seeds and there is no consensus favorite amongst the media. Below I is my final breakdown of the playoffs with my prediction of the winner of Super Bowl 57.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs (16-3) (AFC)    VS.     1. Philadelphia Eagles (16-3) (NFC)

                                   (Sunday, February 12th, 2023)

Breakdown: Super Bowl 57 has many interesting storylines to look for including the fact that this is the first Super Bowl where brothers (Jason and Travis Kelce) will be playing against each other. Being played in State Farm Stadium, one thing we know for sure about Super Bowl 57 is that there will be a lot of State Farm advertisements. Besides this, the Super Bowl outcome is anything but predictable. The Chiefs and Eagles overall have had the best seasons in their respective conferences, each amassing impressive 16-3 records to reach the Super Bowl. Because each of these teams has very few weaknesses, the Eagles are favored by just 1.5 points as of Saturday afternoon, making this the 4th shortest odds in any Super Bowl, according to CBS. These short odd are well-deserved, in my opinion, because of how close statistically these teams are to each other. On defense, the Eagles rank 1st (70) and the Chiefs rank 2nd (55) in sacks. Because these defenses are so similar and each quarterback has the ability to scramble, this game will be decided by which offense can put together consistently effective drives against the opposing powerhouse defenses.

In terms of offensive skill positions, the Eagles have a much better running game than the Chiefs behind Hurts, Sanders, Gainwell, and Scott. In fact, historically, the Eagles’ rushing game has the most rushing touchdowns in NFL History dating back to 1920, with 38 in total between the regular and postseason. However, I think the Chiefs’ explosive passing attack is better than Philadelphia’s with the chemistry and experience between the Mahomes-Kelce connection that can only be rivaled by Brady and Gronk. Adding Kadarius Toney has also been a sneaky signing because of his speed and ability to catch deep-ball fades consistently. The depth of JuJu Smith-Schuster and MVS (Marcus Valdez-Scantling) to the passing game also gives Mahomes quality second and third options to Kelce that I don’t think Devonta Smith and Quez Watkins match with the Eagles.

Although Mahomes is still working through the injury he suffered against Jacksonville, I believe the MVP’s talent and wealth of experience at such a young age will give him an overall advantage over Hurts in managing the atmosphere and pressure of the Super Bowl. Overall, it seems like Mahomes feels like he has something to prove against Hurts as Mahomes beat him for the MVP and has been consistently compared to him all year long. Mahomes also realizes that a second Super Bowl could put him in elite company among quarterbacks and help to solidify his ultimate legacy. To execute their game plan, the Chiefs need to score early and put pressure on the Eagles to throw the football, which is what the high-powered Chiefs offense is built to do. Although the Eagles are every bit as talented and deserving as the Chiefs to win the big game, I believe Mahomes and Andy Reid will execute their passing game plan against this dominant defense to win Super Bowl 57, giving Kansas City its 3rd Super Bowl victory in franchise history,   

Prediction: Chiefs (28)  Eagles (27)

2023 NFL Wild Card Round Predictions

By Sam Morris

Sam Morris is from Madison Heights, Michigan, and is an undergraduate student at BGSU majoring in Sport Management. He has a passion for sports writing and journalism. In his free time, he volunteers in the strategic communications department at BGSU at various sporting events and he also performs, writes, and produces his own raps for the music industry club at BGSU.

January 14th, 2023

Playoff Overview

As a result of the Damar Hamlin situation that occurred on January 2nd, the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals have each played one fewer game than the rest of the teams in the playoffs. Because of this, the NFL decided that if the Bills and Chiefs make the AFC Championship game, the game will be held at the neutral site of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons. Even with this scheduling change, the complete playoff field seeding is set with 6 games that are rematches of previous games in the regular season. Below are my predictions for each of the games being played this weekend. Next week, I will be posting a playoff prediction for the divisional round as well as responding to my predictions from this week and breaking down why I might have gotten certain predictions right or wrong.

  • 1 seeds, Kansas City Chiefs (AFC)and Philadelphia Eagles (NFC) both have byes in the wild card playoff round

2. San Francisco 49’ers (13-4) VS. 7. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)  (Saturday, January 14th, 4:30)

Breakdown: The opening playoff game features two teams that have taken very different routes to get to the playoffs. The 49’ers started the season 3-4, while the Seahawks started 6-3. The 49’ers have since lost starting quarterback Trey Lance to a season-ending injury and Jimmy Garoppolo to an injury that appears to have cost him the season. They have landed on third-string option Brock Purdy and he has performed exceptionally well, going 6-0 as the primary quarterback for the Niners this year. In total, the Niners have won 10 straight games to end their season and are currently the hottest team in the NFL.

The Seahawks on the other hand have gone just 3-5 since the last time they were leading the West and have barely sneaked into the playoffs because of an overtime victory against the injury-riddled Rams and help from the Lions who beat Green Bay in week 18. Despite Geno Smith’s success story and revenge tour this year, I think the firepower of McCaffery, Kittle, Samuel, Aiyuk, and the number 1 ranked defense in the NFL, will be too much for Smith and Metcalf to handle on their own.

Prediction:  (W) 49’ers: (34)    Seahawks: (14)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8) VS. 5. LA Chargers (10-7) (Saturday, January 14th, 8:15)

Breakdown: This AFC matchup features two young quarterbacks on the rise in the NFL in Jacksonville’s second-year man, Trevor Lawrence, and LA’s Justin Herbert. The Jaguars are coming off back-to-back seasons of having the worst record in the entire NFL. Because of this, they have added two number one picks to their roster in the last two drafts in Lawrence and linebacker Trayvon Walker. Despite this young talent, their season looked rough early on, going 4-8 in their first 12 games. However, one of these 4 wins was a 38-10 blowout against the Chargers. After this stretch, a 5-game winning streak was fueled by their improving defense and the ability of skill players Christian Kirk and Travis Etienne to make significant plays down the stretch of games. This streak coupled with an absolute collapse by the Tennessee Titans made the Jags only the 4th team in the Super Bowl era to go from having the worst record in the league to winning their division the following season. The Jaguars have been so bad in recent years, clinical psychologist Dr. Justin D’Arienzo said in the beginning of the season fans began seeking therapy for their severe disappointment in their team

I am predicting that Jaguars fans will not have to go back to this disappointment for at least another week as I think they will beat the Chargers at home. Despite Justin Herbert having a career year this season, the Chargers have had an absurd number of injuries this season effecting star players like wide receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen as well as defensive end Joey Bosa and left tackle Rashawn Slater. While Allen and Bosa are back, Williams’ absence severely effects the passing game and Slater’s absence has consequently caused increasing pressure on Herbert when he is in the pocket. While the Jags’ offense isn’t as potent as others in the playoffs, the biggest reason I think the Chargers will lose is that their run defense has been awful this season ranking 28th in rushing yards allowed. This will allow Etienne and Lawrence to establish a run game and make their passing attack even more effective as the Chargers will be focused on stopping the run.

Prediction: (W) Jaguars (24)   Chargers (17)

2. Buffalo Bills (13-3) VS. 7. Miami Dolphins (9-8)  (Sunday, January 15th, 1:00)

Breakdown: Like the NFC 2 VS 7 matchup, this is a divisional rivalry game that has happened twice before. Unlike the Seahawks-49’ers where the Niners have blown out the Seahawks twice, both Buffalo-Miami games have been extremely close with the Bills losing the first matchup by 2 and winning the more recent matchup by 3. After Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on a tackle of Bengals’ receiver Tee Higgins in week 16, the Bills’ organization has seen enormous support from other teams in the NFL to help them get through that tragic experience. The game was cancelled, and the Bills slipped to the 2 seed. It looks as if the Bills have been motivated to play for Damar the rest of the season and this motivation showed with Nyhiem Hines getting a 96 yard kickoff return to start off week 18 vs the Patriots. This motivation combined with the Bills’ solid defense and Josh Allen should be more than enough to beat the Dolphins.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, Tua is yet again injured with a concussion and won’t play causing Skylar Thompson to start. I have previously written an article on how the Dolphins have mishandled Tua’s injuries earlier in the season and how this could come back to haunt them come playoff time. No offense to Thompson, but he is definitely not the answer as he has thrown for one touchdown all season while throwing three interceptions.

Prediction: (W) Bills (27)    Dolphins (10)

3. Minnesota Vikings (13-4) VS. 6. New York Giants (9-7-1)   (Sunday, January 15th, 4:30)

Breakdown: The Minnesota Vikings have been very impressive in their ability to win one-score games this season as they are 11-1 in such contests. Their offense is statistically comparable to the Cowboys, Eagles, and 49ers in the NFC with star receiver Justin Jefferson and Kirk Cousins having one of the best seasons in their careers. However, what is not at all impressive is their defense. The Vikings definitely have the worst defense out of all playoff teams as they rank 20th in rushing yards allowed, 24th in rushing touchdowns allowed, 31st in passing yards allowed, and dead last in number of 1st downs allowed. This has led to the Vikings either winning close shootout games or getting destroyed. For example: they lost 40-3 against the Cowboys, 41-17 against the Packers, and needed the largest comeback in NFL history to beat the Colts who didn’t even have star running back Jonathon Taylor.

The Giants on the other hand, despite only ranking 27th in passing yards and 25th in passing touchdowns, rank 4th in the NFL in total rushing yards 4th in the NFL in total rushing touchdowns. Saquon Barkley and this rushing attack should feast on the Vikings’ defense in what will likely be a high scoring game because of the Vikings’ pass attack. While each team has their own strengths and weaknesses, I am predicting that the Giants win this game, ironically within one score in a slight upset because of how favorable Barkley will be against the Vikings’ rush defense.

Prediction: Vikings (34)   Giants (37)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) VS. 6. Baltimore Ravens (10-7)   (Sunday, January 15th, 8:15)

Breakdown: The third and final divisional rivalry of the wild card round features the Ravens and Bengals. These teams have split the season series causing the Bengals to have the slight edge in the AFC North. Despite the 0-2 start, the Bengals have proven that last season was not a fluke by any measure. Joe Burrow has somehow managed to improve from his career year last year while JaMarr Chase has continued to be an excellent number 1 receiver. Tee Higgins has also improved this season and has given the Bengals a good second option to Chase. The Bengals are 4-2 against playoff teams this season including a narrow win against the number one seeded Chiefs.

The Ravens on the other hand have had an interesting season to say the least as they have led the AFC North for the majority of the year but are 2-5 against playoff teams this season and have had issues on their offensive line. The Ravens still have one of the best defenses in the AFC but their issue is with Lamar Jackson. It now seems highly doubtful Jackson will play as his knee is still unstable leaving it up to Tyler Huntley who is also dealing with an injury himself. Even if Huntley can play I think there is only a slim chance the Ravens’ defense can lead them to a win. However, if it is third string Anthony Brown making his first career start, I see no shot that the Ravens beat the Bengals and their potent Burrow-led offense.

Prediction: (W) Bengals (28)   Ravens (13)   

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9) VS. 5. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)  (Monday, January 16th, 8:15)

Breakdown: Monday Night Football will feature a marquee-matchup of Tom Brady VS. America’s team. This is also a matchup of week 1 where the Buccaneers trounced the Cowboys 19-3. If you are looking at this matchup and thinking that I have misprinted the Buccaneers’ record, you are incorrect. The Buccaneers have made the playoffs with an 8-9 record as they have won the dreadful NFC South by one game over the Panthers, Saints, and Falcons who all finished 7-10. The Cowboys for one night were avid Carolina Panthers fans as all they needed was for the Panthers to win but they blew the game in the last quarter giving up 3 touchdowns via Brady-Mike Evans. Because of this, Brady is back in the playoffs at age 45. Despite Brady’s up-and-down season, his leadership has taken a team decimated by injury and poor secondary play to the playoffs by winning just enough crucial games down the stretch. Fournette and White can make up a great running back duo if they are consistent and if Brady-Evans can be as dominant a connection as they were against Carolina, anyone would be scared to play the Bucs.

However, these are big “ifs” and the Buccaneers this season have proven to be one of the most unreliable and inconsistent teams despite their high talent level. Because of this, I think the Dallas Cowboys will pull this game out in what I believe to be the closest game this weekend. I know it isn’t usually wise to pick against Tom Brady, but Dallas’ top tier offense could shred Tampa Bay’s underperforming secondary. Lamb, Gallup, Noah Brown, and even veteran T.Y Hilton, have all played very well this season as wide receivers. The Cowboys also have a great one-two punch at running back with Pollard and Elliott. Micah Parsons’ defense has been inconsistent this season but if they don’t focus too heavily on blitzing, they will be fine against Tampa’s offense.

Prediction: Buccaneers (27)   Cowboys (30)

Miami Dolphins Mismanagement of Tua Tagovailoa Injuries

By Sam Morris

Sam Morris is from Madison Heights, Michigan, and is an undergraduate student at BGSU majoring in Sports Management. He has a passion for sports writing and journalism. In his free time, he also performs, writes, and produces his own raps for the music industry club at BGSU.

October 11, 2022


With the NFL being a high-contact sport, there is obviously the potential to incur multiple serious injuries. The league has increased safety measures in many ways over the last few decades, especially when it comes to protecting quarterbacks. These changes include not being able to hit the quarterback in the shoulder-neck-head area once he is sliding, making him defenseless, as well as increasing emphasis on roughing the passer penalties. Despite these improvements, it is impossible to eliminate NFL concussions which are one of the most common injuries in the sport, especially for quarterbacks. It is important that all NFL teams follow the concussion protocol to keep players safe and to maintain the integrity of the league’s rules.


The Miami Dolphins have been accused of not following the concussion protocol regarding their starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa was a star recruit out of the same Honolulu, Hawaii high school as Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota back in 2016. He committed to play college football at Alabama because Nick Saban would be his coach. Tua started off his freshman season as the backup to current Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Jalen Hurts. He gained prominence relieving an injured Jalen Hurts in the 2018 CFP title game, leading the Crimson Tide to a victory over the rival Georgia Bulldogs. Tua played two more seasons riddled by injuries before being drafted by Miami with the 5th overall pick in the 2020 draft. Throughout his first 3 seasons with Miami, Tua has been inconsistent and frequently injured. Despite being plagued by injuries and receiving doubt from the media because of his inability to stay on the field, Tua began the 2022-23 season with 2 victories before controversy ensued.


During week 2, Miami had already begun to be the talk of the NFL landscape with Tua completing a 28-point comeback against Baltimore and throwing for a franchise record 6 touchdowns in one game. In week 3, however, Tua would be tested against Josh Allen and the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills. With 2 minutes left in the second quarter, and with the scored tied 14-14, on a 2nd and 3, Tua dropped back in a shotgun formation and rolled out of the pocket to throw to former Alabama teammate wide receiver Jaylen Waddle. Tua was tackled by the Bills 2nd year 6 foot 6, 270-pound Defensive End Gregory Rousseau after he got the pass off. Tua ‘s head immediately hit the ground before the rest of his body, and he got up extremely shaky. Tua originally tried to walk back to the huddle for the next play but wobbled in a zig-zag line and was taken out of the game. Tua was said to have gone through concussion protocol by Miami’s medical staff, but he was ruled to have a back problem and was cleared to come back into the game just a few minutes later at the start of the second half. The Dolphins upset the Bills by beating them 21-19 and backup Teddy Bridgewater only played for 2 minutes since Tua was quickly cleared.


Immediately after the Dolphins-Bills game, the reporters at the Dolphins post-game press conference questioned Miami’s process of the concussion protocol. One of the major symptoms of a concussion is balance issues, but this usually only occurs when severe force puts a blow to the head to cause the concussion. This severe force could have come from a man 70 pounds and 6 inches taller than Tua, running full speed, and completely unblocked by the Miami offensive line. First-year head coach Mike McDaniel said in the week 3 post-game press conference when asked why Tua was able to play, “his legs got wobbly because his lower back was completely loose.” Although the back is connected to your balance and equilibrium, it was highly suspicious since Tua hit his head first, but McDaniel and the medical staff described it as a back injury instead.


The following week, 4 days later, on Thursday Night Football, against the reigning AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals, the Dolphins were down 6-7 in the 2nd quarter with 6 minutes left and had a 2nd and 7 situation. Tua faked a hand-off to running back Raheem Moshert when the pocket collapsed, and he was sacked and thrown hard to the ground by the 6 foot 3, 340-pound Nose Tackle Josh Tupou. Tupou grabbed Tua by the waist so that his head jerked backward hard and hit the turf immediately with force much greater than in the previous week. Tua eventually had to be carted off the field as his hands and fingers were visibly shaking on camera.


The questions started pouring in from around the sport as two situations that were so similar yielded extremely different results. While both opponents the Dolphins were playing when Tua got injured are playoff caliber teams, the Bills have arguably a more talented roster this year. Although Tua was obviously in more pain with the second injury, critics have begun to accuse the Dolphins of bringing Tua back in the Bills game prematurely to have a better chance of beating their division rivals.


After the Thursday Night game, the neurotrauma consultant in charge of clearing Tua to play was removed by the NFL. While the consultant was hired by the NFL, she is not specifically affiliated with the Dolphins and instead worked with many teams simultaneously around the league. The aftermath of this situation has led to multiple players union and NFL meetings to discuss evaluating the concussion protocol and its steps to clear players to play. It also stands to speculate that the reason the second concussion was so much worse was a direct result of the mistreatment of the previous week’s situation as Tua possibly never got the correct help he needed to heal. After a 10-day rest, Miami was still reporting that Tua would be out for week 5 against the Jets.  As for Mike McDaniel, he stood by his previous statement that the Dolphins handled Tua’s medical process correctly.

How the Brian Flores Lawsuit Shed Light on Media Critiques about Hiring Black Head Coaches in the NFL

By Gavin J. Davidson

Gavin J. Davidson is a second-year graduate student in Sport Administration at BGSU from West Point, MS. He is interested in most major sports but football is his primary sport interest.

March 16, 2022

Brian Flores Timeline

The NFL has had an historic lack of diversity in its head coaching ranks since the league was formed in 1920. Until 2003, there were only five Black head coaches hired in the league. To increase the chances of minorities getting an opportunity to coach, the league issued the Rooney Rule, which is named after former Steelers’ Chairman Dan Rooney. The Rooney Rule requires “every team with a head coaching vacancy to interview at least one or more diverse candidates before making a new hire.” In the beginning, most mainstream media applauded the NFL’s efforts to bring greater diversity to the league. The positive reception of the rule allowed it to be extended to general managers and front-office positions in 2009. Jason Lewis considered the rule to be making a positive change, saying, “The rule has been controversial, but it has been effective.”

While Lewis praised the Rooney Rule, he pointed out that sham interviews had occurred. In 2003, the Detroit Lions were fined for not interviewing a minority candidate for their head coaching vacancy. In 2010, the Washington Commanders (then Redskins) hired Mike Shanahan while the Seattle Seahawks hired Pete Carroll to be head coaches for their respective football teams. Since the teams predetermined that they wanted Shanahan and Carroll, they interviewed minority candidates late in the process just to be in compliance. In 2013, Maloni and Diegel suggested that nepotism had trumped the Rooney Rule reporting that in the first ten years of the Rooney Rule, coaches’ relatives would often get jobs on their family’s staff and/or be promoted from within.

When the league saw that it was reverting to the problem of a lack of diversity in the coaching ranks, they adjusted by making additions to the rule. Michael David Smith detailed some of the additions to the rule in 2020, including a second minority candidate added to the hiring pool, no internal promotions, extending the rule to coordinators’ jobs, and adding an incentive program. An additional amendment rewarded teams for developing minority talent who became a head coach or GM in the league. If a team lost a minority coach or an executive to another team, then the original team would get a third-round compensatory pick for two years, and if they lost both in the same year then they received a third-round compensatory pick for three years. The NFL also required teams to interview at least two external minority candidates for a head coaching position and one for a coordinator position. There must also be one minority or female candidate interviewed for senior level positions.

As the rule became less effective, media narratives began to change. Instead of commending the Rooney Rule for helping to even the playing field for minorities, some in the media concluded that the league was finding ways to maintain the status quo, making the rule now useless. So, what factors contributed to changing media narratives about the Rooney Rule? The lawsuit filed by the former Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins certainly highlighted its ineffectiveness.

On January 10, 2022, Brian Flores, the Dolphins’ head coach for the past three seasons, was fired because he was considered “too difficult to work with,” according to the lawsuit filed on February 1, 2022. Coach Flores did not have an unsuccessful tenure when you look at his record with the team. He compiled a 24-25 record with a winning record in the last two seasons. Despite not making the playoffs in three years, Flores inherited a rebuild that may have overperformed based upon national media experts’ expectations reflected by their preseason predictions.

After Coach Flores departed, he had multiple interviews for head coaching vacancies in the league. When the Giants released Joe Judge, Flores was among those considered for the position as head coach. Three days before his interview, his former coach, Bill Belichick, sent him a congratulatory text on getting the job. Being confused about the message, Flores wanted to confirm that Coach Belichick was texting the right person. After Flores reached out to him, Belichick realized that he congratulated the wrong guy, and it was Brian Daboll who was getting the job. Flores had not even been interviewed yet. Despite the news from Belichick, Coach Flores went to the scheduled interview as a show of professionalism, assuming that the only reason he got the interview was because he was the minority candidate and the Giants needed to comply with the Rooney Rule.

Based on what transpired in January, Flores filed a lawsuit against the NFL, the Miami Dolphins, the New York Giants, the Denver Broncos, and other NFL teams for racial discrimination. As a result, the Dolphins documented what they believed were Flores’ flaws. Ryan Yousefi explained the reasons why the Dolphins fired Coach Flores, claiming that Flores was ineffective when it came to Human Resources. As evidence, the Dolphins said Flores had more offensive coordinators than the number of years he was head coach, while some players reportedly did not like the way he coached, and the offense had struggled since Flores took over.

The New York Giants proceeded to hire Coach Daboll, confirming Flores’ suspicion that his interview was a “sham.” To seek justice, Coach Flores sued the NFL for racial discrimination in its hiring practices. Flores’ lawsuit referenced previous articles about the Rooney Rule that supported his stance on racial discrimination. Most of the articles were dated in 2020, which meant that these observations came after adjustments to the rule had been made.

One of the key articles that critiqued the lack of diversity in the NFL was written by Jemele Hill in The Atlantic. Hill’s perspective is insightful because she not only discussed the lack of diversity for head coaches but also a lack of diversity within the pipeline that lead to becoming a head coach. Most head coaches were once offensive coordinators. Most black coordinators were defensive coordinators, making it difficult to gain a promotion. Most offensive coordinators earned their position after being a quarterback coach. There are very few black quarterback coaches in the NFL, which gives them less chance of going through the pipeline to become a head coach. Hill also compared Flores to Joe Judge, the former Giants head coach, pointing out that Flores had a better resume than Judge when considering the two coaches’ credentials. It seems that the Giants were not taking that into consideration since they had hired Judge but allegedly only interviewed Flores to fill the Rooney Rule requirements.

After the lawsuit came out, Heidi Schmidt reported that Roger Goodell admitted that the NFL’s diversity initiatives had not been successful, saying “We must acknowledge that particularly with respect to head coaches the results have been unacceptable.” Whenever there is a situation that makes the NFL look like it fails in its commitment to have a diverse organization, they have tried to implement new policies to move towards their goals. According to NFL executive Troy Vincent, who reported to the Associated Press, “We’ve been working on this every single day since the hiring cycle ended a year ago and we have to do better… We have high expectations that we should see positive results because the work has been put in.” While NFL executives have said that they want diversity, they have yet to prove they want it by their hiring practices. The ownership seems to act primarily when they get pushback on issues, they do not feel are important to them. Meanwhile, they send Commissioner Goodell out to take the heat while the owners continue to dodge scrutiny for their actions.

The lawsuit Flores brought against the NFL shows the power of media because some of the main points Flores is making come from articles that document the League’s shortcomings. A problem arises when the media does not call out the league for its failure to achieve equity. The league will continue to maintain the status quo unless someone addresses them. If more writers investigate the problems that are going on, then change will happen. Jemele Hill’s journalistic insights can provide the impetus for the league to pursue the diversity that it claims to desire. More members of the media must act on the inequalities of the situation for changes to take place and need to hold the authority accountable when there is blatant disregard for the rules. There also needs to be greater representation of diversity within the media. If everyone in the media comes from the same background, then there will be no call for change because everyone sees things the same way.

The Decline of the Houston Texans and Why We Should’ve Seen It Coming

By Breven Miller

June 9, 2021

Breven is a third-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. Originally from Jackson Township, Ohio, Breven is a Sport Management major with a minor in Journalism. His interests lie in all sport, but he has a particular passion for football and soccer.

The Houston Texans were a team poised to win for years to come, boasting a core of talented players that they could build around to make a legitimately great roster.

Now they’re in complete disarray. 

Let’s go back to late 2013 for a minute. The Texans had just finished one of the worst, if not the worst, season in the team’s history, going 2-14. They fired head coach Gary Kubiak mid-season, and interim head coach Wade Phillips wasn’t able to do much more than Kubiak (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021) .

Changes needed to be made, and indeed change happened. In January 2014, the Texans announced Bill O’Brien as their next head coach. O’Brien was coming off of his second year at Penn State, where he led Penn State to a 7-5 record as their head coach. Before that, he started his NFL career in New England as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator during the 2011 season (Bill O’Brien, 2021). 

Despite this apparent lack of experience, O’Brien did quite well in his first two seasons with the team. He made a 2-14 team into a 9-7 team for two consecutive seasons. Let’s not forget though that this was a team that still had Arian Foster, JJ Watt, Andre Johnson, and DeAndre Hopkins under contract. It’s not like O’Brien really solved the main problem in Houston either: They desperately needed a franchise quarterback.

Houston parted ways with Matt Schaub, their previous “franchise” quarterback, after the aforementioned 2-14 season. In O’Brien’s first two seasons, six quarterbacks started at least one game: Ryan Fitzpatrick (12 games), Brian Hoyer (9 games), Ryan Mallett (6 games), Case Keenum (2 games), T.J. Yates (2 games), and Brandon Weeden (1 game). That’s not the most inspiring list of names, but the results were okay (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021). 

In the 2015 season, the Texans somehow made the playoffs, despite their aforementioned 9-7 record. They won the AFC South though, meaning they won the right to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the wild card round. These weren’t the same Chiefs we see today, but they were still far better than the Texans, winning 30-0 (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021) .

Somehow though, starting four quarterbacks in one season wasn’t enough of a low point for the Texans. Enter Brock Osweiler.

The offseason preceding the 2016 season saw one of the most infamous transactions in Texans (and maybe NFL) history happen. For $72 million, the Texans gained the services of quarterback Brock Osweiler for four years. Osweiler had just stepped in as the backup to Peyton Manning for a little more than seven games in Denver and led the Broncos to the playoffs in 2015. He even won Super Bowl 50, but he was on the bench while Manning returned from injury and worked his magic (Chassen, 2016). Despite Osweiler’s lack of experience, the Texans surely thought their quarterback woes would finally end. They couldn’t have been more wrong. 

Osweiler failed to impress in his first season with Houston. He only threw 15 touchdown passes while throwing 16 interceptions. The offense ranked 28th in the NFL for points scored and 29th for yardage gained.

The team again made the playoffs that season, but only because of their stellar defense. In fact, they even won a playoff game that season! However, they beat an Oakland Raiders team who had seen their franchise quarterback, Derek Carr, get injured late in the season. The Raiders were forced to start Connor Cook instead, who threw three interceptions en route to a 27-14 Oakland loss. Houston was put in their place the following week when they were humbled by the New England Patriots, 34-16 (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021) .

That game against the Patriots would prove to be Osweiler’s last game in Houston. In the offseason, Osweiler was traded to the Cleveland Browns in what amounted to a salary dump deal for the Texans. Houston gave away Osweiler, a 2017 sixth-round pick, and a 2018 second-round pick for the Browns’ 2017 fourth-round pick (Schefter, 2017).

The Osweiler deal also set up another franchise-altering move for the Texans. They gave the Browns their 2018 first-round pick to move up in the 2017 draft and select Deshaun Watson (Brinson, 2017). 

That seemed to be the beginning of the “win-now” mentality for the Texans. They were trading away draft capital quickly and therefore needed to win since they weren’t going to be able to acquire reliable young talent in the near future. Winning didn’t happen much in 2017 though. To be fair, their 4-12 record in this season was wholly a result of Watson’s ACL tearing in practice midseason. Watson went 3-3 over the first six weeks of the 2017 season, while the combination of Tom Savage and T.J. Yates won one game between them in weeks 8-17 (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021) .

The worst part about the losing season for the Texans though was that they wouldn’t get to take advantage of it. Usually when a team loses their quarterback or another key player that early in a season, they’re able to look to the draft and use their bad season to improve a likely already good roster. However, the Texans traded away their 2018 first and second-round picks. They would go into the 2018 season with largely the same squad as the year before.

The following are the two best years of Bill O’Brien’s tenure as the Houston Texans’ head coach. The 2018 team was probably the best team O’Brien had while in charge. The defense forced the second-most turnovers in the league and the offense wasn’t bad, ranking 11th in points scored and 15th in yardage. Even with this team, which boasted six Pro Bowlers, the Texans couldn’t make it past the wild card round. Even worse, they lost to their division rivals, the Indianapolis Colts (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021). 

It was after this season that more change was sought within the Texans organization. General Manager Brian Gaine was fired in June 2019 and his duties for the 2019-20 season were performed by Bill O’Brien, who was later officially named general manager (Starr, 2020). At this moment, alarm bells should’ve started ringing. However, the mood stayed positive surrounding the Texans. In fairness, the media was still fawning over Watson, who was now clearly the future of the franchise, and optimistic about the rest of the Texans’ squad. In a video from the summer of 2019, Chris Simms of NBC Sports spoke highly of the Texans, saying that the only hesitancy for him when it came to predicting their possible success was how tough their division was (NBC Sports, 2019). And truthfully, Simms and others weren’t inherently wrong in saying things like this. But a wrong move at the general manager position can cost a team everything, and that’s why more attention should have been given to this topic. 

In 2019, the Texans, yet again, made the playoffs, though this season the defense dropped off. They went from 4th in points allowed in 2018 to 19th in 2019, and from 12th in yards allowed to 28th. As a result, they were able to beat the offensively-challenged Buffalo Bills in the first round of the playoffs, before blowing an enormous 24-0 lead to the Kansas City Chiefs, who never looked back after scoring 28 unanswered points in the second quarter (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021) .

The 2019 season won’t be remembered for Houston’s performance on the field, though. It will be remembered largely for the trades made by new GM Bill O’Brien. He started by trading away 2014 #1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney. The South Carolina stud was injury-prone throughout his first few years in Houston but picked up form once he was healthy. Clowney had been to three straight Pro Bowls before being traded, but he and the Texans couldn’t agree on a contract extension. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks for Jacob Martin, Barkevious Mingo, and a 2020 third-round pick that was traded for Gareon Conley (Weston, 2020). Those three players have started a combined eight games for the Texans, and Mingo now plays for the Chicago Bears. 

Somehow, this wasn’t even the worst trade the Texans made around this time. It was clear that Deshaun Watson needed some better pass protection, so O’Brien went looking for a new left tackle. He found Laremy Tunsil in his search, who was playing for the Miami Dolphins at the time. O’Brien decided to trade for Tunsil in a deal that looked like this (Kasabian, 2019):

Houston receives: OT Laremy Tunsil, WR Kenny Stills, 2020 fourth-round pick, 2021 sixth-round pick.

Miami receives: CB Johnson Bademosi, OT Julie’n Davenport, 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick, 2021 second-round pick.

The players in this deal aren’t what’s concerning. Tunsil is a quality tackle and has done well for the Texans, while Stills, Bademosi, and Davenport have all failed to make a really significant impact for their new teams (Bademosi now plays in New Orleans). What’s bothersome in this deal is the lost draft capital. Houston lost three very high value picks for two low value picks and a good left tackle. This move screams “win-now”, and even at that it’s reckless at best. That doesn’t apply to the next trade, which happened prior to the 2020 season. The best word for that one might be something along the lines of franchise-damning. 

The Houston Texans had put themselves into “draft hell,” lacking a pick in 2020 that landed within the top 50. Bill O’Brien realized this but dealt with the problem in quite possibly the worst way possible. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who led the team in receiving yards from 2014 to 2019, was traded in March 2020 to the Arizona Cardinals. The deal went as follows (Rapp, 2020):

Arizona receives: WR DeAndre Hopkins, 2020 fourth-round pick.

Houston receives: RB David Johnson, 2020 second-round pick, 2021 fourth-round pick.

If the alarm bells aren’t ringing by now, something’s gone haywire. Let’s establish that DeAndre Hopkins was (and still is) one of the best, if not the best, wide receiver in the NFL at this point. For the sake of this examination, we’ll say the fourth-round picks cancel each other out, so Hopkins was traded for an injury-prone, out of favor running back and a second-round pick. Most people would say this was a terrible deal for the Texans, and yet the media weren’t thinking that a drop in form was on the cards. In the words of NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, “I think they’re building something, I think (Watson) is getting better every year, I think (Watson) is being overlooked, I think the Texans, even though they keep finding a way to get back to the playoffs, continue to be overlooked,” (NBC Sports, 2020). Deshaun Watson would carry the squad and everything would be alright, right? Well, not quite.

The 2020 season was the culmination of years of bad trades, bad signings, and overall ineptitude by whomever was running the Houston Texans, be it Bill O’Brien or someone else. The 2020 Texans went 4-12, this time with a full season of Deshaun Watson. 2020 saw the end of the Bill O’Brien era, as he was fired from both his head coach and general manager roles in October (Shook, 2020). Romeo Crennell took over the head coaching position and the GM role remained vacant until the following offseason. The David Johnson project didn’t work, as the Texans ranked 32nd out of 32 teams in both rushing yards and yards per carry (“Houston Texans franchise,” 2021) . But even this was only the beginning of the inevitable end. 

After the dismal 2020 season, a video circulated around the NFL world that only added to the negativity surrounding the Texans. It wasn’t known then, but it would seemingly be the last clip we saw of Houston legend JJ Watt in a Texans jersey. 

Watt approached the front office after the season and expressed his interest in leaving the organization. The Texans obliged, releasing Watt and allowing him to explore the free agent market. Trading Watt would have been harsh, but surely if you’re an organization who traded away DeAndre Hopkins, you fashion a trade for Watt. This seems like a particularly puzzling move given that Houston is still in the aforementioned “draft hell”, as they are without their first round pick for the 2021 draft. The lack of draft picks wouldn’t be a massive issue if the Texans weren’t now rebuilding. And it certainly would be a much smaller issue if Deshaun Watson wanted to stay with the Texans. 

In a final gut punch to end the Bill O’Brien era, the firing of O’Brien led to the hiring of Nick Caserio, who had previously been tipped for the job before O’Brien was initially hired. Quarterback Deshaun Watson, who realistically is all the franchise has left at this point, was and is unhappy with the hire and now wants out. Watson’s wish to be traded or released has not yet been granted, with the Texans adamant that Watson will not only remain with the organization but will play as well. Watson has no intention of doing either of these things and is apparently willing to sit out games if he stays in Houston (Holleran, 2021). 

So now the Texans find themselves at the point of no return. They either accept their inevitable rebuild now, taking an NFL record $51.2 million cap hit while gaining invaluable draft capital by trading Watson, or they keep themselves in purgatory, unable to fully rebuild via the draft while holding onto an asset that will very likely yield no returns. And all the while, the warning signs were there. Signing Brock Osweiler for $72 million and dumping his salary the next offseason (while losing draft capital), appointing the head coach who has no experience as an executive to be the general manager of the franchise, trading two first-round picks and a second-round pick for what amounted to one impactful player, and trading one of the best wide receivers in recent memory for pennies on the dollar. Houston had all of these instances of misused assets and overall mismanagement, and yet the media were too caught up in the brilliance of the Texans’ stars to care. The Houston Texans seemed to go from hero to zero in the blink of an eye. In reality, we should’ve seen this coming a long time ago. 


Barkevious Mingo stats. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

Bill O’Brien record, statistics, and category ranks. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

Brinson, W. (2017, April 28). Browns own Texans’ first and second-round picks in 2018 after Deshaun Watson trade. CBS Sports.

Chassen, A. (2016, March 09). Brock Osweiler signs $72 million deal with Texans. SB Nation.

Gareon Conley stats. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

Holleran, A. (2021, March 1). Deshaun Watson is reportedly considering a drastic move. The Spun.

Houston Texans Team Encyclopedia. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

Jacob Martin stats. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

Johnson Bademosi stats. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

Julie’n Davenport stats. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

Kasabian, P. (2019, September 01). Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills traded to Texans for 2 1st-round picks, more. Bleacher Report.

Kenny Stills stats. (2021). Pro Football Reference.

NBC Sports. (2019, June 27). PFT Top 30 Storylines: Can Houston Texans win in playoffs? | Pro Football Talk | NBC Sports[Video]. YouTube.

NBC Sports. (2020, June 25). PFT Draft: Next QB to get first Super Bowl ring? | Pro Football Talk | NBC Sports[Video]. YouTube.

NFL Films [@NFLFilms]. (2021, January 5). “I’m sorry, we wasted one of your years.” Watt to Watson after a tough season[Tweet; video]. Twitter.

Rapp, T. (2020, March 16). Report: Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins over contract; O’Brien, WR had friction. Bleacher Report.

Schefter, A. (2017, March 09). Texans trade Brock Osweiler, 2018 second-round pick to Browns. ESPN.

Shook, N. (2020, October 06). Texans fire Bill O’Brien as general manager, head coach.

Starr, P. D. (2020, January 28). Bill O’Brien named the general manager of the Houston Texans. Sports Illustrated.

Weston, M. (2020, May 15). BRB groupthink: Revisiting the Jadeveon Clowney trade. SB Nation.

Dak Prescott and the battle for players’ rights

By Griffin Olah

Griffin is a third-year undergraduate BGSU student from North Ridgeville, Ohio. He is a Sport Management major and a Journalism minor. His primary sports interests are baseball and football, both collegiate and professional, but he is also interested in basketball, MMA, boxing and hockey.

October 24, 2020

On Sunday, October 11 against the New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys quarterback (QB) Dak Prescott ran a QB draw. Prescott had run many plays similar to this one throughout his career from high school, to college at Mississippi State and finally as the Dallas Cowboys’ franchise QB. This third quarter draw, though, was different.

Prescott ran up the middle, made a defender miss, and bolted towards the left sideline. There, Giants defender Logan Ryan was ready to make a play. Prescott attempted to stiff arm the oncoming defender, but Ryan was able to hold on and make a crucial open-field tackle within the red zone with the Cowboys looking to go up by two scores. During that tackle, though, Prescott’s ankle was caught underneath the players as they tumbled to the ground. Ryan stood up, ready for the next play, but Prescott looked to his ankle and found it pointing at an unnatural angle. He had a serious injury.

Immediately, players and coaches knew what was wrong. Mike McCarthy, the first year Cowboys head coach and longtime Green Bay Packers headman, came out onto the field. Teammates and opponents also came to see if the star of the franchise defined by stars was okay. He was not. An emotional Prescott was helped onto a cart and taken to the locker room. Immediately, he was sent to a hospital for surgery on the ankle. The Cowboys team Twitter account announced that Prescott suffered a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle, an injury that has a 4-6 month recovery at the very least (Archer, 2020)

As soon as the news reached players across the league, they sent out their best wishes to the injured QB on social media. Stars across the game, such as Patrick Mahomes and J.J. Watt, wished the star a speedy recovery. Media members like Emmanuel Acho and Troy Aikman applauded Prescott and how he handled his injury. Even former Dallas Cowboys coach and current New York Giants offensive coordinator Jason Garrett made sure to wish Prescott well as he was carted off on the field (Blackburn, 2020).

Unfortunately, a violent game like NFL football is sure to cause injuries for its players. Nobody can argue that Prescott’s injury wasn’t horrible. Yet, the responses haven’t been the best, especially considering the person Dak Prescott is.

Before getting into the reaction, it’s important to understand Dak Prescott’s offseason path. In April, amid the pandemic and a lack of offseason programs that usually fill professional football players’ free time, the Prescott family was struck by tragedy. Dak’s older brother, Jace, died by suicide. In the time afterwards and during his grieving process, Prescott had an interview with Graham Bersinger about his brother’s death. In that interview, Prescott confirmed that Jace’s death was by suicide and that Dak also suffered from anxiety and depression in the wake of the pandemic and his brother’s death (Watkins, 2020). Prescott’s confession shook the world. How could someone that seemed to be so happy, so carefree and so fun suffer from depression?

Prescott’s strength was applauded by many after disclosing his struggles with mental health. Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst, whose own struggles with depression are well-documented, made sure to meet the QB after their teams had a game and express his respect for Prescott’s courage (Al-Khateeb, 2020). For every good story, like Hurst’s, there is a bad one. As Hayden Hurst was supporting Prescott, FOX Sports analyst Skip Bayless was tearing him down. On Undisputed, Bayless called Prescott’s admission weak, stating that “If you reveal publicly any little weakness, it can affect your team’s ability to believe in you in the toughest spot” (Bonesteel, 2020, para. 8). Immediately, athletes, media members and fans alike rushed to Prescott’s support. Bayless was torn down, just like he attempted to tear down an important, brave and courageous act by a well-known athlete to pull back the curtain on mental health. Bayless attempted to walk back his comments, but his “opinion” remains a stain on Prescott’s already trying offseason.

In addition to the loss of his brother and the debacle with Skip Bayless, Prescott was in the middle of tense contract negotiations with the Cowboys. Prescott decided to play the 2020 season under the franchise tag after he determined the Cowboys’ offer of a 5-year deal with an annual value of $34.5 million and over $100 million of that guaranteed (Archer, 2020). Prescott believed he was worth more than the Cowboys were offering, and he decided to play the 2020 season under the franchise tag. Fans across the nation, especially Cowboys fans, were taken aback by the QB’s decision. How could Prescott leave millions of dollars at the table like that? Or, for those wanting Prescott to stay with the ‘Boys, how much will those millions of dollars Prescott wants that Jerry Jones refuses to give him matter?

Now, though, Prescott’s injury puts a new discussion on the table. Dak bet on himself, and whether you agree with that or not, it has consequences now as his franchise tag will expire before he plays another game. Fans and media members alike have been asking if Prescott turning down a long-term contract was a bad idea or not, and the truth is we won’t know until Prescott returns (Brandt, 2020). 

Prescott’s contract is not what the media is focusing on now, though. That’s reserved for “the worst people on Twitter” to look at (Barnwell, 2020, para. 18). Instead, the shock of the injury is all the media can focus on, and rightfully so. Injuries like Prescott’s – seen in Alex Smith, Gordon Hayward and Kevin Ware – have always captivated the media. You’d have to go back to Joe Theismann and Lawrence Taylor’s infamous hit on him to see a true franchise quarterback go down like this. No offense to Alex Smith. 

Immediately after Prescott was taken off the field, the NFL’s YouTube channel posted a video of the injury. The NFL’s YouTube channel is a site filled with highlights, fantasy videos and commercials showing the all-time greats in a ballroom for the 100th anniversary of the league. While Prescott’s injury is something that most likely would be covered there, and for good reason, anything that happens to one of the faces of the league should be covered by the league’s media outlets. But, labelling it as a “Can’t Miss Play” on the thumbnail is something the league seriously missed on (Heyen, 2020, para. 1). Something about a franchise quarterback and star of the league being carted off in tears isn’t a “can’t miss play” to me (Heyen, 2020, para.1) The League, always committed to protecting the shield, was called out on social media by The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman for their labelling of the grotesque injury. 

Shortly after the social media firestorm that followed Sherman’s tweet, the NFL deleted the video (Heyen, 2020). As Sherman pointed out, someone would post the video and it would go viral. But why did the official NFL YouTube account feel the need to do that? To profit off of the injury of Dak Prescott? The NFL in 2015 struck a “multi-million dollar deal” with YouTube and Google to post official highlights on the platform (McSpadden, 2015, para. 4). In addition to that, YouTube accounts in 2013 earned an average of $7.60 per 1000 views on their videos, with that number only increasing as the popularity of the platform increases (Rosenberg, 2020). The fact that the NFL was actively profiting off of their star’s injury is horrible, and if that’s how they treat a face of the league like Dak Prescott, how would they treat a lesser-known player?

The media covering the league is not sterling clean either. Well-respected analyst and Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy fell into hot water after saying that Dak’s injury could be a “blessing in disguise” for the Cowboys (Heck, 2020, para. 4). While Dungy attempted to walk back his comments on Twitter after the blowback, the damage was done. 

If someone covering the NFL can call an injury a “blessing,” what else can they do? While most can agree that Dungy is a well-respected and high-character person, he made a mistake here. That can explain why he faced much less of a blowback than Skip Bayless, although their comments are on equal levels. Without social media to hold these analysts and accounts liable for their slander on one of the most respected players in the game, Dak Prescott’s name could be further dragged through the mud.

Everything that happened to Prescott was horrible, but something could come out of this to help it all. Prescott’s battle with the media and his dedication to himself can inspire players to follow his example. Sure, there has been negative publicity and coverage on everything that Prescott’s been through, but the path that he’s laid and the way he’s handled it can allow more players to pursue contracts that they are truly worth and speak out about mental health. Dak Prescott is now a poster boy for players battling the power of the NFL and the media, and there is nobody better to prove that he made the right decision for himself and turn around the way players’ injuries and decisions are covered in the media. Now, maybe we can see something that gives players a chance instead of immediately siding with teams and allowing players to be humans and talk about human issues.


Acho, E. [@EmmanuelAcho]. (2020, October 11). The opposite has been said, but this moment, Dak Prescott, the epitome, and the embodiment of leadership. You don’t cry[Tweet]. Twitter. 

Aikman, T. [@TroyAikman]. (2020, October 11). Devastated for @dak- one of the truly great people in the NFL[Tweet]. Twitter. 

Al-Khateeb, Z. (2020, September 22). Hayden Hurst thanks Dak Prescott for speaking out on depression: ‘I’ve got a lot of respect for what you did.’ Sporting News. 

Archer, T. (2020, October 11). Dak Prescott of Dallas Cowboys out of surgery for compound fracture, dislocation of right ankle. ESPN.

Barnwell, B. (2020, October 12). Dak Prescott ankle injury: Answering the biggest questions about the QB, the Cowboys, Andy Dalton and what’s next. ESPN.

Blackburn, P. (2020, October 12). Dak Prescott injury: Patrick Mahomes, Troy Aikman, NFL players react to Cowboys QB being carted off of field. CBS Sports. 

Bonesteel, M. (2020, September 11). Skip Bayless condemned for saying Dak Prescott’s admission of depression was a sign of weakness. The Washington Post. 

Brandt, A. (2020, October 13). Business of football: Dak Prescott’s injury won’t significantly hurt his career earnings. Sports Illustrated. 

Dungy, T. [@TonyDungy]. (2020, October 11). Blessing in disguise was a poor choice of words by me. It’s not a blessing for Dak. What I meant[Tweet]. Twitter.

Heck, J. (2020, October 12). Tony Dungy called Dak Prescott’s injury a ‘blessing in disguise’ for the Cowboys.  Sporting News.

Heyen, B. (2020, October 12). NFL deletes ‘can’t miss play’ highlight of Dak Prescott’s injury on official YouTube channel. Sporting News.

Mahomes II, P. [@PatrickMahomes] (2020, October 11). Big time Prayers up man @dak !!!![Tweet]. Twitter. 

McSpadden, K. (2015, January 26). The NFL is finally on YouTube. TIME.,in%2Dgame%20highlights%20and%20recaps.&text=Under%20the%20deal%2C%20Google%20will,to%20the%20Wall%20Street%20Journal

Rosenberg, E. (2020, June 4). How YouTube ad revenue works. Investopedia. 

Sherman, R. [@rodger]. (2020, October 12). I found this last night and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Is it normal for leagues to[Tweet]. Twitter. 

Watkins, C. (2020, September 9). Dak Prescott opens up about brother’s suicide, his own battles with depression in new interview. Dallas News. 

Watt, J.J. [@JJWatt]. (2020, October 11). Feel so bad for Dak. Just brutal.[Tweet]. Twitter. 

False Start: Week 2 NFL injuries derail exciting start to the season

By Griffin Olah

Griffin is a third-year undergraduate BGSU student from North Ridgeville, Ohio. He is a Sport Management major and a Journalism minor. His primary sports interests are baseball and football, both collegiate and professional, but he is also interested in basketball, MMA, boxing and hockey

September 29, 2020

The NFL is back like we’ve never seen it before. Gone are the days of packed stadiums. Now the players duke it out on the gridiron in an empty, cavernous structure to be projected across the nation. Gone are the days of preparation and intrigue, with preseason being eliminated, training camps closed to the public and the season starting. Leading up to and after Week 1, however, there was the same excitement across the nation as the NFL prepared its return and successfully delivered the same product we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing.

Week 2, however, took some of the excitement away from the new season and the return of the nation’s most popular sports league. Stars like Christian McCaffrey, Byron Jones, Michael Thomas and Jimmy Garoppolo all went down with injuries that will cost them multiple weeks of the season. Others, like Nick Bosa, Saquon Barkley, Anthony Barr and Malik Hooker will miss the season (J. Jones, 2020). Teams like the Denver Broncos, San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants lost multiple key contributors to major injuries and will have a hard time in the rest of the season (Gagnon, 2020).

While the problem of injuries is pretty straight forward, the print coverage of it is quite dynamic and interesting. 

Aside from the basic reporting about what happened, who got hurt and how long they’ll be out, most writers are trying to figure out why. Why did so many players go down? Some point to the lack of a preseason and offseason training program due to Covid-19. Many believed that the sudden move from relaxed walk-through type practices into full games would contribute to soft-tissue injuries (K. Jones, 2020; Wilner, 2020). In fact, current NFLPA President and Cleveland Browns center J.C. Tretter wrote a letter to the NFL outlining the fact that after the 2011 NFL lockout and similarly shortened offseason, soft-tissue injuries like those seen in Week 2 increased by 25% (K. Jones, 2020). Obviously, there are not a lot of comparisons that can be made in this unique 2020 season, but a shortened 2011 is a good place to start. That sudden increase, from no contact to full contact, could result in an increase and has in the past (Wilner, 2020). 

Others, though, believe that explanation is not enough. They believe it is important to take into account the lack of major injuries in Week 1, which should have been even worse if the problem was conditioning. In addition, most of the injuries came on big hits and high contact plays, not in running or some other non-contact way (Tanier, 2020b). If conditioning, and in turn, Covid-19, was the main cause of these injuries, then why was the onslaught delayed? Why did we get through Week 1 relatively unscathed? And why were so many injuries because of violent tackles? Saquon Barkley was injured when he was tackled on the sideline. Nick Bosa was injured in an awkward block. Drew Lock was injured after being thrown violently on the ground in a sack. These can’t be ignored as we debate the effects of Covid-19 in sports.

Aside from the cause of the injuries, though, there is the coverage of them. Why is this week such a big deal as opposed to other major injury weeks in the past? Why is this different than the lengthy injury lists of preseason games? Well, fantasy football is a driving factor in that. As sports gambling becomes more and more normalized and legalized across the country, more traditional media outlets, such as USA Today and The New York Times, are covering fantasy sports, especially football. Instead of the focus on the team and the players’ health, the focus is now on “your cousin Carmine’s Metuchen Murder Hornets… us[ing] up all of their fantasy waiver points” (Tanier, 2020a, para. 11). This is a dangerous precedent to set. Yes, a lot of people are playing fantasy sports and care about their teams, but that cannot come before these players’ health and well-being. The media plays into that dangerous idea, and it needs to break free.

Week 2 was a wild week, filled with excitement and happiness, but also with injuries and sadness. The NFL is a dangerous league playing a violent sport, but the media needs to make sure they have the right ideas in mind while reporting on the results of that violence. Looking for causes and solutions is good, but focusing its coverage on the players driving fantasy sports instead of the defensive, special teams and role players that go down each week is not helping the problem. The media needs to break out of its gambling, fantasy-focused reporting and just focus on the facts and how to best report on the full story – and include all players in that reporting.


Gagnon, B. (2020, September 21). Injury-plagued week 2 shakes up the NFL: Who is impacted the most? Bleacher Report.

Jones, J. (2020, September 20). Week 2 notes: Why brutal weekend for stars means preseason isn’t going anywhere. CBS Sports.

Jones, K. (2020, September 20). Week 2 injuries threaten to reshape the NFL season. The Ringer.

Tanier, M. (2020a, September 23). NFL injuries lead to hand-wringing, finger-pointing and confusion. The New York Times.

Tanier, M. (2020b, September 24). What’s next for the 49ers and other injury-riddled teams. Pro Football Network.

Wilner, B. (2020, September 21). On football: Week 2 not for the weak as injuries hit NFL. The Associated Press.

What to Watch During (and after*) Quarantine

By Griffin Olah

Submitted: April 16, 2020/Published: June 2, 2020

Griffin is a second-year undergraduate BGSU student from North Ridgeville, Ohio. He is a Sport Management major and a Journalism minor. His primary sports interests are baseball and football, both collegiate and professional, but he is also interested in basketball, MMA, boxing and hockey.

[*Editor’s Note: With apologies to Griffin Olah and readers of Maxwell Media Watch, this insightful entry was submitted during a semester when everything suddenly went online. I should have published it earlier, but hopefully it still provides useful tips for media alternatives to live sporting events in the meantime. N. Spencer].

If you’re anything like me, you miss sports. With COVID-19 shutting down every sports league (we’ll ignore Dana White’s “fighting island”), I need something to quench my thirst for more sports. Luckily, there are quite a few alternatives that can get us all through quarantine while not spending a fortune.

One of the first things I discovered, with the help of Twitter, was the massive MLB library on YouTube. That’s right, Major League Baseball stores broadcasts on both its own YouTube channel, MLB, and on another, the MLB Vault (Langs et. al, 2020). This allows you to go back to see any memorable game in MLB history that has aired on television. Personally, I’ve enjoyed myself watching Game 7 of the 2016 World Series (the game ended with the rain delay), the 2017 Indians winning streak and the wildly entertaining 2019 Home Run Derby match-up between Joc Pederson and Vlad Guerrero Jr. There’s enough there to spend entire days watching baseball, and maybe you’ll even find some hidden gems that you forgot happened.

The NFL has a similar vault of games, but they house it in its own website, NFL Game Pass. Although it usually requires a subscription, the NFL made Game Pass free to all users through May 31, 2020 (, 2020). Game Pass has an archive of all games played since the 2009 season, from preseason all the way through the playoffs and the Super Bowl. It also has access to many of NFL Network’s series, including A Football Life, America’s Game, SoundFX and more. I’ve spent a lot of time watching old Browns replays, including the 2018 game against the New York Jets that debuted Baker Mayfield, the 2009 game against the Chiefs that Jerome Harrison played out of his mind, and the America’s Game episode of the 2009 Saints. 

If you aren’t against spending money, however, the ever-popular ESPN+ might be for you. For only $5 a month, you can have access to a massive library of ESPN shows, replays and films. ESPN has streaming deals with many collegiate sports conferences, the NHL, UFC and boxing organizations, allowing many past games and competitions on their platform. I’ve spent hours in the 30 for 30 library and watching old UFC fights featuring Stipe Miocic. If you’re still bored and you want some non-sport action to watch, ESPN+ also can be bundled with Disney Plus and Hulu for $12.99 a month. 

If live action is what you’re craving, however, then eSports might fill that void for you. At the forefront of eSports is NASCAR, with its iRacing Pro Invitational Series. Using real drivers on iRacing, a platform most already use for practice, NASCAR is simulating the missed events of their season (Nicholson, 2020). The simulated races are also aired on Fox, so NASCAR fans can watch just like any other race.

Going along with eSports, the MLB has taken initiative with its MLB The Show Player’s League. Each team has selected one player to represent them through a series of three-inning games on the popular video game franchise (Toribio, 2020). Each player streams their games on their own Twitch page, which works similar to YouTube, so you can hear their commentary in real time. Cincinnati Red pitcher Amir Garrett and Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo have already proven to be both wildly entertaining to watch and incredibly good at the game. I’ve watched some highlights, and I’ll be tuning in whenever Garrett and Gallo take the virtual field again.

Finally, the NBA has attempted to offer another alternative with live action- a HORSE tournament. Current and former NBA and WNBA stars are pitted against each other in the classic basketball game in each of their home gyms (Gartland, 2020). While reception has mostly been negative, with many people claiming the games are too boring or citing internet problems, basketball fans may still be enjoyed. I haven’t tuned into any of the matchups, but if you’re starved for some basketball, it might be right for you. The competitions do air live on ESPN, so anyone interested in watching will have to tune in in real time.

Obviously, there is no true alternative to live sports action, but we can come close. Whether replays are your thing or not, there are tons of options to watch until we get sports back, whenever that may be. Until then, take a look through all of these services and find your favorite, or maybe find something new that’s not discussed here. Either way, good luck with filling your sports void and I hope these can get us all through until the return of sports.


Gartland, D. (2020, April 13). ESPN’s NBA HORSE competition was tough to watch. Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from:

Langs, S., Simon, A., Randhawa, M., & Catania, J. (2020, March 14). One classic game to watch online from each MLB team. Retrieved from: (2020, March 18). NFL offers fans free access to NFL Game Pass. Retrieved from:

Nicholson, J. (2020, March 18). NASCAR launches eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series. eSports Insider. Retrieved from:

Toribio, J. (2020, April 10). 30 stars to compete in ‘MLB The Show’ league. Retrieved from:

Seahawks look to replicate past success, bring back Lynch and Turbin

By Pershelle Rohrer

January 3, 2020

Pershelle Rohrer is a first-year BGSU student from Logan, Utah. She is a Sport Management major with a minor in Journalism. Her primary sports interests are football, basketball, and baseball, both at the professional and collegiate levels.

The Seattle Seahawks brought back two familiar faces on December 23, 2019, signing running backs Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin for the remainder of the 2019-20 season. The move comes after Seattle lost their top three running backs for the year due to various injuries, leaving rookie Travis Homer as the only active running back on the roster (Rost, 2019).

Lynch began his first stint with Seattle when he was acquired from the Buffalo Bills in 2010. He quickly became a “Seattle sports icon,” according to John Boyle (2019b, para. 6). Lynch played with the Seahawks from 2010 to 2015, helping the team to two Super Bowl appearances. He had four consecutive seasons in which he rushed for 1,200 or more yards (2011-14) and led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2013 and 2014. (Henderson, 2019). The five-time Pro Bowler retired briefly before returning to play for his hometown Oakland Raiders in 2017 and 2018 (Marek, 2019). 

Just three weeks ago, Lynch was handing out tequila shots to tailgating Raiders fans prior to the team’s final game before next season’s relocation to Las Vegas (Marek, 2019). Last Sunday, he was playing for an NFC West division title as the 11-4 Seahawks took on the 12-3 San Francisco 49ers (Alexander, 2019). He impressed in his return, rushing for 34 yards on 12 carries, including a 15-yard run, and leaping for a 1-yard touchdown in a 26-21 loss to the 49ers (Stecker, 2020).

Seahawks general manager John Schneider had discussions with Lynch about a return before the 2019 campaign, according to head coach Pete Carroll (Gustafson, 2019). In regard to his return to football after his year-long retirement, Lynch said, “At my age, this is a great opportunity to be able to come in and be able to help when needed, get in and do my little thing and get out, hopefully be able to help them go ahead and get to the Super Bowl that they should be playing for” (Boyle, 2019b, para. 7).

Lynch’s return to the NFL generated excitement throughout the NFL, as he was “entirely out of the NFL rumor mill in 2019” (Marek, 2019, para. 5). Andy Nesbitt (2019) wrote, “You have to believe that just his presence alone will pump up the team heading into a game that will decide the NFC West title” (para. 5). Brandon Gustafson (2019) said, “It’s clear fans of the team are excited about Lynch’s return” (para. 19). Julian Paredes (2019) described, “The jury’s still out on whether Lynch remains the dominant player he’d been for nearly a decade, but his return brings life to a team whose season was all but lost to injury” (para. 8).

NBA player Jamal Crawford, a Seattle native, and former Seahawks punter Jon Ryan expressed their excitement on Twitter:

Pete Carroll, referring to Lynch, said, “The circumstances rolled just at this time, and he could have four or five games left in him, maybe that’s what we need” (Boyle, 2019b, para. 5).

Just hours before the Lynch signing, Robert Turbin announced his return to Seattle on Instagram, posting a picture in front of his locker with the caption, “…Happy to be back HOME” (2019). 

Turbin was drafted in the fourth round by the Seahawks in 2012 and was part of the draft class that included seven-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson and six-time Pro Bowl linebacker and Turbin’s Utah State teammate Bobby Wagner (Boyle, 2019a). Turbin played alongside Wilson, Wagner, and Lynch from 2012 to 2014, rushing for 928 yards in 1,231 attempts (good for 4 yards per attempt) in 48 games for Seattle (Henderson, 2019). He also caught 43 passes for 427 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Seahawks during those three seasons (Dajani, 2019). Following his years in Seattle, Turbin played for the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and Indianapolis Colts (Boyle, 2019b).

While the signing of Lynch is drawing more attention, an Associated Press article emphasized the importance of Turbin as both running backs prepared to play their first games in over a year. Lynch was not expected to handle an entire workload, and Turbin had the potential to take a significant number of snaps as a result. It was unknown at the time how the carries would be split between Turbin, Lynch, and Homer (“Robert Turbin the,” 2019). Turbin did not have any offensive snaps in Week 17 as Homer and Lynch split the workload (Stecker, 2020). However, that does not mean that he will not be a part of Seattle’s game plan as they head into the playoffs.

The Seahawks, who were third in the NFL in rushing yards per game this year heading into Week 17, found themselves “desperate for help at tailback” (Rost, 2019, para. 6) after they lost their top three running backs for the season. The injuries occurred over a fifteen-day span. Rashaad Penny tore his ACL in a Week 14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise suffered a fractured hip and a broken arm, respectively, in a Week 16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Carson rushed for over 1,000 yards for the second straight season and entered Week 16 as the NFL’s fourth leading rusher (“Seahawks officially bring,” 2019). 

The additions of Lynch and Turbin help the Seahawks rebuild their running game as they look to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in five years. The two running backs are “a backfield tandem blast from the franchise’s past” (“Seahawks officially bring,” 2019, para. 1), reminding fans of the back-to-back Super Bowl appearances that the team enjoyed in 2014 and 2015 (Gustafson, 2019). It remains to be seen how Lynch and Turbin impact the remainder of Seattle’s season, but an initial assessment after their first game gives a positive outlook for the Seahawks. Brent Stecker (2020) emphasizes the importance of a strong group of running backs, writing, “Suddenly that run game that has long been a trademark of Carroll’s Seahawks teams – the same one that was eroded away by injuries late in the regular season – looks to be back just in time for the playoffs” (para. 9).

The Seahawks (11-5) will play the NFC East champion Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) on Sunday in a win-or-go-home matchup. Fourth-seeded Philadelphia comes into the playoffs on a four-game winning streak while Seattle has lost two straight games. The Seahawks were 7-1 on the road during the regular season and defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia, 17-9, on November 24th. Carson Wentz will be making his first career playoff start after missing Philadelphia’s successful Super Bowl run two years ago and last year’s playoffs due to injuries (Booth, 2020). Fifth-seed Seattle aims to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2015, and Lynch and Turbin could play important roles for the Seahawks as they start their playoff campaign on Sunday.


AdamSchefter. (2019, December 23). Beastmode officially is back in Seattle. Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks have an agreement, and Seattle has a new RB to line up against SF during Sunday night’s NFC-West-deciding showdown. [Tweet]. Retrieved from

AdamSchefter. (2019, December 23). And so one day after the Seahawks lost Chris Carson to a fractured hip and C.J. Prosise to a broken arm, the Seahawks went retro RB and signed Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. [Tweet]. Retrieved from

Alexander, M. (2019, December 24). Seahawks first-round bye chances take a hit, but they’re not dead yet. Field Gulls. Retrieved from

Booth, T. (2020, January 2). Seahawks-Eagles preview. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved from–nfl.html

Boyle, J. (2019a, December 17). Seahawks Russell Wilson & Bobby Wagner selected as starters for 2020 Pro Bowl. Retrieved from

Boyle, J. (2019b, December 24). Seahawks sign running backs Marshawn Lynch & Robert Turbin. Retrieved from

Dajani, J. (2019, December 24). Seahawks bring back Robert Turbin, Marshawn Lynch after losing numerous running backs to injury. Retrieved from

Gustafson, B. (2019, December 27). Seahawks’ Pete Carroll explains how Marshawn Lynch returned to Seattle. 710 ESPN Seattle. Retrieved from

Henderson, B. (2019, December 23). Seahawks add RBs Marshawn Lynch and Robert Turbin. from

JCrossover. (2019, December 23). Man, man, man.. My favorite player is BACK!!! @MoneyLynch back with the @Seahawks. Christmas came early!!!!! [Tweet]. Retrieved from

JonRyan9. (2019, December 23). I hope my old #24 jersey still fits. #BeastMode [Tweet]. Retrieved from

Marek, G. (2019, December 24). Marshawn Lynch will face the 49ers on Sunday, 2 weeks after handing out shots at a Raiders tailgate. SFGate. Retrieved from

mattschniedman. (2019, December 23). Marshawn Lynch was serving tequila shots at a parking lot tailgate in Oakland eight days ago for the Raiders’ last game there. Now he’s gonna start for the Seahawks in the playoffs. Legend. [Tweet]. Retrieved from

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Paredes, J. (2019, December 23). Beast mode: Marshawn Lynch officially returns to Seahawks. Q13 Fox.Retrieved from

robertjturbin. (2019, December 23). Never give up on God… He’ll never give up on you. Happy to be back HOME [Instagram post]. Retrieved from

Robert Turbin the other part of the running back reunion in Seattle. (2019, December 27). Q13 Fox. Retrieved from

Rost, S. (2019, December 24). The 3 questions: How much will Lynch’s return impact Seahawks?. 710 ESPN Seattle. Retrieved from

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Stecker, B. (2020, January 3). Seahawks’ run game ‘has some stature to it’ again thanks to Lynch, Homer. 710 ESPN Seattle. Retrieved from